Monday, June 29, 2015

The A-Rod Reverse Negative Card Sold

Back in May I posted up my 2011 Topps Heritage Alex Rodriguez Reverse Negative SSP #490 on eBay for a slightly insane $150 BIN/OBO price. I received a low ball offer of $30 but no other interest outside of a group of watchers so when the 30-day listing ended I dropped it to $125 BIN/OBO and last week I dropped it to $115 and figured that if I had no interest when the second 30-day listing ended I would put it back in to my binder and consider re-listing if/when A-Rod hits his 700th HR some time next season.

I have to admit I was somewhat surprised that someone bought it for the $115 BIN price last night. Not that I didn’t think that the card was worth it, I just didn’t think I was really going to have much luck especially after I only got one offer in the 50 days it has been listed and that was someone wasting my time.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Let’s face it 2015 is the year of the dinosaur. Jurassic World is raking in the big bucks on the silver screen, Upper Deck is releasing 2015 Upper Deck Dinosaurs within weeks, Topps is reprising their Dinosaur Attacks line in the upcoming Mars Attacks: Occupation release and now Monsterwax just funded their Dinosaur Galaxy release through Kickstarter. I love indie card companies, they end up creating sets that collectors want.

Like Upper Deck’s release Monsterwax is focusing on beautiful illustrations and sketch cards. They have even brought in amazing dinosaur paleartists like Luis Rey and Todd Marshall, among others, to work on the base set, and artists like Jason Brower, Daniel Gorman, Tom Keaton and Christopher West to work on the sketch cards.
Here is some of the art work that will make its way on to the base cards. This is a collection from artists Ricardo Garijo Jr, Todd Marshall and Luis Rey.

And it wouldn't be a beautifully rendered artistic set about dinosaurs without sketch cards

Upper Deck's upcoming dinosaur release, which I will be covering in the next couple of weeks, does have more to it but I think that Monsterwax has done a decent job with their set that I do plan on hunting down some of the sketch cards.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Heat Is Nobodies Friend

Today I am taking a moment for a PSA about living in Arizona.

Everyone knows that summer months in the Valley get hot, we have been hitting in the 108-112 degrees lately and it isn't even the hottest part of the summer. I have lived in Arizona more than half my life so I can deal with the heat, though these hot days do make me wish I was back in Seattle. But every so often you do something where you don’t think and the heat burns you literally.

Today I got a flat tire and while I was changing it I laid the tire wrench down on the ground and when I picked it up I got a nasty surprise. It was 110 degrees today and a solid black metal tire wrench sucks up heat quite quickly. Here is what a tire wrench burn looks on my left hand.

Not satisfied with one burn when I was sliding the jack under my Tahoe I set my right hand on the ground. This is what a burn on my fingers and right hand look like. Four fingers and the upper part of my palm were all burned, the dark red spots are blisters making this one a second degree burn (four blisters on three fingers). This from setting my hand on the pavement for a matter of seconds. The heat dried my skin so quickly it wasn’t funny, though really none of this was funny... at least not yet until the burns heal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Sheik Has Arrived

Going back to a post I did on June 1st where I had shown some of my recent wrestling I had stated that I am on the hunt for an Iron Sheik autograph but it had to be the right one with his full wrestling name, well I finally picked one up.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, also known as The Iron Sheik, has appeared in a number of Topps and Leaf releases in the past 5 years and he does have official autographs in these sets but the problem I had is he usually signed just “Sheik” and I wanted his entire moniker. Fortunately he signs often for his fans and this is when “IRON” will usually be added so while I like his Leaf Originals autograph cards I went searching elsewhere.
I was in a bit of a quandary, I wanted to find a card I liked, signed with “IRON Sheik” in a way that I liked. This has been at long search, well over a year, for the right card for my collection. I finally found the perfect card, a 1985 Topps WWF Iron Sheik #2 signed in silver ink pen and when the dealer dropped the price to $14.99 plus $3.00 shipping I hit the BIN and finally I could smile.
The card was authenticated by PSA and encased and I was wavering on whether to remove it or leave it encased but the Post Office made the decision for me when the card came in and the case had a crack across the face which was not in the original picture. There was a documentary about Vaziri last year called "The Sheik" where he talks about how following the Iran hostage crisis people used to threaten to kill him all the time even when he was out and about, maybe my mail carrier is just holding on to her anger from the 1980s and took it out on the case.

Here he is, the Iron Sheik himself free from his plastic casing.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Pricing Option

Recently I received an email from a collector regarding his card pricing web site. After spending time on the site and talking with him through email I decided that I wanted to do a write up to show support for him.

Tom is from across the pond and began his web site Price Guide Cards last year to deliver up-to-date accurate pricing for football (soccer) cards but is now looking to expand his site to offer pricing for American sports cards for baseball, basketball and football.  He has built his own script using his background in Econometrics and Statistics to update pricing based on online sales, from my experience it seems to be similar to how Zistle determines their pricing but is updated more often.

The site is still rather new, roughly 9 months, so there are some growing pains and US sports cards are only now slowly being added so it will take time to build up a solid database but I have done a number of random searches and the prices are rather spot-on even including two of my recent high-end 2014 Prizm World Cup card sales. In addition to individual card prices the site includes a section for breaking down a box break where you can figure out the average “Return of Investment” based on a specific product and the price you paid. Again, this feature is still in the building phase so is limited to more recent and popular football (soccer) releases but it will expand over time.

I have not been paid in any way, this is an honest review of a pricing web site that I feel can help the hobby. Plus any person that can develop a web site that collects current data and can give an accurate price range for cards has a huge step up over a certain sports card magazine entity that has a strangle hold using illusionary prices.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Art Gallery: 2012 Island Dreams Pirate Buddies

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from 2012 Island Dreams. The artist is George Leon, a comic strip artist out of Washington State. This is my second Island Dreams sketch card and it is a beautiful combination of colored pencil and Copic marker.

What caught my attention is the hilarious pirates, who are obviously three sheets to the wind with their “XXX” hooch. What is funny is that if you think about it, the smaller pirate looks like he is holding a prescription bottle. Since I was a kid there have been levels of “coolness” with the first level being pirates and ninjas. Second level is cowboy, police officer, fireman and army man. Any time I can add one of these characters to my sketch card collection I jump on the opportunity.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Strange Addiction

 Hello, my name is Corky and I am an addict

Ok, now that that is out of the way I will admit that I have taken the first step in to the world of 2014 Topps High Tek Baseball when I purchased a pair of Ken Griffey Jr. (#HT-KG1) base wave cards. I knew buying this card would lead me down the path to “Pattern” Hell and this is the reason I didn’t get involved in the original Tek release and why I don’t get caught up in chasing the rainbow every time a company adds 10 parallels of each card in to their sets.

I went all in for the enticing sales pitch, even falling for the “Get 2 cards for the price of 1” way that dealers sucker you in with that first taste. I am now sitting on a couple cards wanting every diffractor and variation that Topps can get in to packs and sneak past law enforcement on to the shelves of their street peddlers. 

You would think that at the prices that people are selling them at that Topps somehow figured how to infuse heroin in to the acetate that the cards are made from.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Contest From Baseball Card Breakdown

Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown has hit a major milestone in the blogging community, his 2-year Blogiversary plus his 500th post, and in grand tradition is holding a contest to commemorate this accomplishment.


To enter just take a look:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Warriors Win In A Close One

Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors and head coach Steve Kerr. The game tonight was a back and forth tough match and went down to the last minute, in what seemed like an impossible comeback by LeBron James and the Cavaliers. In the end the Warriors were able to finally shut down the attempted comeback with 10 seconds left and the team won their 4th championship, the last one being in 1975.

I have been a huge fan of Stephen Curry since he came in to the league in 2009, even writing a post in my first month as a blogger about the 2009 NBA Draft when I was hoping the rumors of him being traded to the Suns for Amare Stoudamire were real. I am glad that he was able to win but I do have to wonder how the series would have turned out had Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving been healthy.

I do want to point out that there is a University of Arizona connection going on for the Warriors. Steve Kerr (Head coach), Luke Walton (Assistant Coach) and Andre Iguodala (NBA Finals MVP) all were Arizona Wildcats…. Just sayin…

A bonus fact, this is Steve Kerr’s 6th NBA Championship. He won 5 with the Bulls and Spurs as a player and now one as a coach.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Positive Purchase From A Foreign Seller

I had talked about recently about how I decided to start a Rocket Raccoon collection, which is only 8 cards so far but growing. Being a comic book and recent movie character there have been some action figures released for Rocket and I while I have not been on the hunt for any figures recently I have kept an eye out for any that I thought are pretty cool. One that has caught my eye is a figure from Nintendo’s Infinity line, I liked the pose.
The Infinity system is for Nintendo’s WiiU and 3DS, which I have neither, but I just wanted the figure as long as it was reasonably priced. I came across a company out of China that was selling the figure, minus the Infinity web code, with a starting price of ¢99 and free shipping.

Here is the headline:

DS infinity: Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Guardians figure Rocket Raccoon

I had seen similar offers for Legos and Hotwheels. I don’t know if they are the same company but there seems to be a lot of these auctions for collectibles out of China. I had tried to pick up some Lego sets for my son but they always jump in price before the end and I miss out. So I figured I would toss in a cheap bid of $1.01 and forgot about it.

When the auction ended, I had won with the ¢99 bid and made my payment figuring it would take forever to get here. Boy was I wrong, it took 8 days to get to me and it was not only Rocket Raccoon but the entire set of Guardians of the Galaxy (Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Groot & Rocket Raccoon) . Talk about surprise, I even went back to check the auction and all the content says is “You will receive the item in the title”, which clearly states “Rocket Raccoon”.
I love it when dealers do things like this. The Drax figure had pulled away from the base and his body was separated in half but it appears that the glue didn’t adhere properly and just fell apart and was not broken. Some superglue and Drax was back to his badass self. This seller is definitely getting positive feedback. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Vintage Card Of The Month: 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents Chester A. Arthur

This VCoM comes from the 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents release, our 21st President Chester A. Arthur. Arthur came in to office in September 1881 following President Garfield’s assassination, so as Vice-President he took over without an election. The relationship between Garfield and Arthur was quite strained to the point of dislike between the men. When Arthur took over there was conflict with the Cabinet, who were all selected by Garfield. Everyone was replaced except for the Secretary of War, Robert T. Lincoln.

The 1932 U.S. Caramel Presidents cards were inserted in to packs of caramel, initially there were 31 cards depicting the U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Herbert Hoover but in 1933 a Franklin D Roosevelt card was issued bringing the set to 32 cards. Most cards will state 31 cards though. As expected the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln cards are the most popular and sell for significantly more than the other cards. There are three versions; Orange, Red and Blue with Blue being the rarest.

The card is in rough condition with a crease running across the middle of the card, the card is also miscut. The back of the card shows the crease and the miscut plus there is also what appears to be burn marks or soot along the bottom.

Most of these cards go for a nice chunk of change with even the lower condition raw cards hitting in the $20-50 range, low graded copies can sell for well over $50 and even the middle grade cards will hit $100 or more. This card was less than $4 shipped so I was very fortunate to get this copy.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

R.I.P. The American Dream

The wrestling world lost a legend today with the passing of The American Dream Dusty Rhodes of an unknown cause, possibly related to a fall.

In the early 70s Rhodes got his start in some of the smaller wrestling circuits spending time in the NWA, WCW, TNA and WWF/E. As a kid in the early-1980s I remember watching his rants while he was wearing his black and yellow polka-dot tights and thinking “That dude is hilariously insane.”

Even after retiring from wrestling he stayed active in the community, eventually being elected to the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2007. He has made numerous appearances on WWE in the last decade, usually on the behalf of his two sons Dustin Rhodes Jr (Goldust) and Cody Rhodes, including this past February.

Dusty Rhodes, born Virgil Runnels Jr., was just the type of guy you liked, you didn’t know why but he put a smile on your face and that was all that mattered.

Rhodes has been appearing on cards since the early 1980s all the way up to 2015 releases so there are plenty options for his base cards and he even has a couple of official autographs, most common seems to be his 2004 Pacific TNA Legends & Stars autograph, which have all been shooting up in price since the announcement of his death earlier today. He was such a common signed for the fans so you can find plenty of index cards, 8x10s and IP/TTM autograph cards for a more reasonable price.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How To Ship The Hope Diamond

Recently there have been a handful of posts by bloggers showing card packages they received that were beyond what most people would consider secure when shipping a card. I have received a couple of packages that were pretty well packed but this one takes the cake.

I picked up this Tom Kane autograph card, he is the voice for Yoda (among others) in all of the Star Wars animated shows, movies and games, for just under $10 plus free shipping. I got the card today and it was definitely secure, 8 levels of packaging.

 Priority Mail small flat rate box, white 8x10 packaging envelope, bubble wrap (2 layers), heavy cardboard wrap, packaging invoice (wrapped around cards), one-touch magnetic holder as support inside team bag, team bag with card inside a rigid top loader. And this was all with free shipping.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It Is Wonderful When A Company Gets It Right

Every so often you come across a unique and limited card that is so awesome that you would consider selling your first born, well maybe not your child, but you know where this is going. A perfect example was last year’s 2014 Topps Archives Major League Ricky Vaughn autographs.

This year it seems like the attention will be turned towards 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter’s with the inclusion of Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan autographs, which are both popular pulls but Topps takes it one step further by making the cards Rocky Balboa and Thunderlips from Rocky III, my favorite of the Rocky films.

The ultimate male versus the ultimate meatball!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Eisenhower's Star Sells

I want to thank everyone for their support during this tough time.


The 2012 American Heroes & Legends Eisenhower Cut-Sig General Star card auction ended yesterday, hitting $2,400 after 36 bids.

There are many options when it comes to Presidential cards including DNA/hair and cut-signatures but I think this card is one of the more unique cards including one of Eisenhower’s General Stars. I wonder if this opens up other Presidential military rank relics. There have been 12 Presidents who reached the rank of Brigadier General or higher and I am pretty sure Teddy Roosevelt’s Colonel bird and John F Kennedy’s Lieutenant bar would be a big seller too.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Very Painful Day

Today is my blog’s 6 year blog-versary, it should be a day where I do something special or at least have something exciting to post but sadly my world was rocked pretty hard today.

In the 6 years that I have been posting I say very little about myself. I don’t think I have ever used a real name only my nickname (Corky) outside of the people that I have traded with but today is different. Today I am going to open up about my family a bit.

This afternoon at 1:05 pm after battling lung cancer, which metastasized in to her liver and kidney, my aunt Dawn passed away. She has been a major part of my life since I returned to Arizona in 2008 and for the past 8 months I have been her caregiver while she fought a valiant battle. This has been a painful day for my family and while I went back and forth about the post I felt I needed to get something out.

She was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in August 2014 and after a heavy regiment of chemo and radiation, plus three hospitalizations, she was declared “Cancer free” on January 2, 2015. Sadly a follow up scan two weeks later showed that while the cancer in her lung had disappeared, it had spread to her liver and then later her kidney and adrenal gland. She began a second round of chemotherapy in February and felt she was doing well but on April 14th she was told that the tumors had spread and were getting larger, after discussing the options it was decided to end all treatment and she was given 4-6 months. We have been celebrating her life ever since.

 In honor of continuing her celebration I am opening up and I am posting the last picture I took with her, which was one month ago shortly after we shaved out heads in support.

So here I am, the real guy behind the avatar, and this is my aunt Dawn (lovingly called Anty).

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Set Worthy Of Including Danny Trejo

I am a Danny Trejo fan and I love Machete. Trejo is not a classical trained actor, he comes from the streets and the parts he plays are created specifically for him in mind. He isn’t the best actor in the world and his movies are not Top 100 films but in a world where it seems like every “Blockbuster” movie is either a sequel or reboot it is refreshing to watch Trejo jump out of a window using someone’s intestines as a rope.

I have been hunting for the 67-card Machete trading card set but most were priced $30 or more and I felt that was a bit outside of what I wanted to spend. One dealer had sets at $29.99 and I made a $20 offer and he declined my offer, only to drop it to $20.99 a week later. A couple of weeks later he dropped to $19.99 and I held up buying it because I was being thick headed about him declining my offer when he changed it within days. Anyway, he finally dropped the price to $16.99 with free shipping and I finally clicked the BIN button.

The set comes in a matchbox style packaging with a inner box that slides out. Inside the inner pack the cards are wrapped in a black sleeve. The back of the box includes the serial number, mine is #166/300

The first 50 cards make up scenes of the movie beginning in order at card #1 with the card backs describing the scene. Cards 51-66 are the character cards and the backs make up a 3x5 puzzle. The final card is a checklist and there is a Shé poster sticker.

On to the cards:
The good guys; Machete, Agent Sartana, Luz (also known as Shé), Padre and the Avellan twins as Nurse Mona and Nurse Lisa

Lindsay Lohan plays a character that switches roles as the movie progresses, beginning as the crack head (I know, a real stretch) April Booth but redeems herself as Sister April at the end of the movie.
The bad guys: Torrez, Booth, Von, Senator McLaughlin, Osiris and henchman (Surprisingly he has a large role in the movie)

The backs of cards 51-66 make up the Machete “Sandwich” scene with April and June
Checklist and Shé poster sticker